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Jets overcome strong game by Eagles' Tim Tebow

Matt Flynn of the New York Jets throws

Matt Flynn of the New York Jets throws a touchdown pass in the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Tim Tebow just won't go away.

The Eagles' backup quarterback made things interesting against his former team Thursday night , throwing a second-quarter touchdown pass and producing another in the fourth when the Jets seemed to be fully in control.

It was quintessential "Tebow Time'' -- when the underdog found a way to deliver -- and the type of play Jets fans longed to see during his only season (2012) in Florham Park. But despite Tebow's best efforts, it was the Jets' backup quarterbacks who delivered just enough to ensure a win.

Matt Flynn threw two touchdowns in a 24-18 victory in the preseason finale at MetLife Stadium. Flynn, who played the entire first half, was 10-for-14 for 136 yards with an interception. His competition, the newly signed Josh Johnson, completed 7 of 12 for 82 yards and had 76 yards on seven carries.

"We won, it went well,'' Johnson said. "That's the most important thing. We were able to put a lot of drives together. We got a nice comfortable lead and were able to close it out.''

Tebow completed 11 of 17 for 189 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 32 yards.

Flynn hadn't played in a game since last December but didn't look out of sync and may have made a stronger case to back up Ryan Fitzpatrick.

During CBS' telecast, Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said he and Todd Bowles "are a team" who will decide whom to cut. "We're going to have some tough decisions to make,'' Maccagnan said.

The Jets backups finally got their chance to shine, and Zac Stacy and Chris Owusu took advantage of the opportunity.

Stacy, behind Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell on the depth chart, caught a 5-yard TD pass in the second quarter and had 68 yards on 20 carries. Owusu, fighting for a spot in a crowded receiving corps, caught a perfectly thrown first-quarter TD from Flynn. Owusu had five catches for 72 yards.

Not surprisingly, Bowles refused to tip his hand when asked about his 53-man roster.

"They all did some good things. So that'll be tough,'' he said. "We've got some tough decisions tonight, and when we know, you'll know.''

Another player on the bubble, Walter Powell, returned a first-quarter kick 57 yards. But he also was flagged twice on one third-quarter drive for offensive pass interference.

Tebow is battling Matt Barkley (4-for-9, 45 yards, interception) for a job behind starter Sam Bradford and former Jet Mark Sanchez. Tebow pulled the Eagles within 17-12 with an 18-yard TD pass over cornerback Dexter McDougle.

In the fourth, Tebow made an impressive 45-yard throw. But soon after, his fourth-down pass was intercepted by cornerback Darrin Walls, his second pick of the night. But Tebow would not be denied. He escaped pressure and threw another TD, a 9-yarder accentuated by Freddie Martino's impressive body control and toe drag.

As Jets owner Woody Johnson famously said in 2012: "You can never have enough Tebow.'' And that was proven true Thursday night.


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